Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Broken


Welcome to my new view of the world. Pretty much this is what I will be seeing for the next six to twelve weeks.

On Sunday afternoon, I got out of church and went to visit friends of ours. We all decided to go look at our various plots of land. First we went to our new home and showed off what we could of it without a key, and then we went to their land. As we walked into the forest just a bit, to better see the gorgeous stream they have, I managed to turn my ankle. This was accompanied by a loud SNAP sound, and then I was hit with stomach churning pain. Things get a bit fuzzy after that. I recall saying, "I'm not going to throw up," several times, and screaming, and lots and lots of pain. Gray says the two guys acted as "living crutches for me" and helped me get to the car. I don't remember that part. I do remember the handfuls of snow on my bare leg, which made me yelp even louder. I remember being in the car, telling them I was fine while knowing damn well I was not fine.

They took me to the ER, where I had x-rays taken and confirmed the worst: I had broken my ankle. Not only had I broken my ankle, it was a spiral fracture.  This means that the bone was twisted, like you'd wring out a towel. Seeing the x-ray wasn't pretty, but it kind of made it real. I was in a lot of pain, and I wasn't entirely coherent during most of it. They put a fiberglass splint on it and told me to go home. I was to call the ortho surgeon in the morning.

Going home, I felt pretty good. I thought, gee, I can handle this! Of course, I was flying high on percocet and endorphins. I went to bed at 10pm, a full hour before I was due for my next pain pill, figuring I was just fine. I woke at 1am in pain, took my pill like a good girl, and would have tossed and turned except that I couldn't because my leg was all plastered up and propped on a pillow.

I took my percocet properly that morning, knowing full well they would be manipulating my foot later in the day. I was not going to be without pain medication for that! I got an appointment at 1:30pm, and after dropping the kids off, we went in. The first words out of the surgeon's mouth was, "Operation." I didn't want anything to do with it. I hate operations in general, and in the middle of a house move from a toxic situation, while suffering from a nasty virus, is NOT the right time for one. We talked about it, and he agreed that he would try a stress test x-ray on my foot to be certain the surgery was or was not needed. He warned me that it was going to hurt, though. I was prepared. After all, a positive result from the x-ray and test would mean no IVs, no cutting, no staples, no possibility of infection... hell yes, I was prepared.

The test did not actually hurt, although the other x-rays did. I am lucky - my fracture, while bad, is well aligned. I do not need an operation. This is the one thing I am trying my best to keep in mind as I slowly go crazy laying in bed. No one is cutting me open, so it is not That Bad. They decided to put me into an "aircast" which is a removable cast that does up with wide velcro straps and has air bladders inside that get pumped up to make you secure and comfortable. It's not entirely comfortable, but I would imagine it's more comfy than a plaster cast, and I know for sure it weighs a lot less (even though this thing feels as if it weighs a ton). I have a very long surgical sock on under it, and then the cast goes over top. The little "lid" or front part comes off so I can ice the ankle underneath. The back part stays on to maintain stability of my leg and ankle.

Sis got me some beautiful flowers, gerber daisies I believe. They're so pretty, and they really brightened me up. It's tough just laying here doing nothing. This morning I thought I could manage with just tylenol, and I let my percocet wear off, and that was the Wrong Thing To Do. I won't do that again for a couple of days. The pain was overwhelming. On top of the ankle pain, which actually goes from around my toes to almost my knee, I have calf pain from the fall and thigh pain from hauling the weight of a damaged leg and cast around. My under-arms are raw from the crutches, and I have blisters forming on my palms.

Still... I am trying to count my blessings. I DON'T need surgery, and that's a big one. I didn't damage anything other than my ankle when I fell, which is just darn lucky considering I fell onto a forest floor full of rocks and sharp twigs and pricker bushes. I somehow managed to go flat into a pile of "just leaves" with nothing really sharp. My dress got a bit messed up but my skin is fine. I didn't break a wrist trying to stop my fall. I have family who love me and are doing everything in their power to make me feel good, and to take up the slack I've so suddenly left. The house was mostly packed for the move BEFORE I broke my ankle, and I don't think the remaining bits will be too much for the others to finish up. I have my internet, and old episodes of Bewitched to watch, and homework to do. I have classmates and church friends and pagan friends and Jewish friends praying for my swift recovery.

So... tough stuff, yes. I have a hard few weeks ahead of me, and many hurdles to make. But I'm a lucky woman, and I need to remember that, especially in the down moments.
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